On Saturday, February 15th, Boston University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) hosted its eighth annual Regional Conference, PR Advanced: #FuelTheFuture. Below is a letter from our Chapter’s Conference Coordinator, Brynn Murphy.
On behalf of my Committee, I cannot thank everyone enough for coming out, despite the weather, to enjoy the event that we planned for more than six months. I am excited to say that 200 students and professionals from twenty universities and many companies filled Boston University’s Photonics Center to participate in a day filled with breakout sessions, speed networking, a workshop competition and career fair.
Our goal was to inspire students and young professionals to make their mark during this transformational period of change in the industry. The main focus of PR Advanced was to help students understand what skills employers are looking for in this dynamic and digital world. Attendees walked away with that and more.
Keynote speaker C.C. Chapman, Chief Marketing Officer of Your Success Now, got students excited for the day and offered insight on creating your own path to happiness. The second keynote speaker, John Edelman, Managing Director, Global Engagement and Corporate Responsibility at Edelman, spoke about the Trust Barometer and how to navigate the transmedia landscape. Though the perspectives of both men were very different, their messages got through to students in a unique and powerful way.
Following the keynote presentations, students attended breakout sessions that concentrated on ideas like content creation, crisis management, sports marketing, political communication, non-profit communication, and innovation in technology. These sessions included representatives from GoogleGlass, the American Red Cross, and the Boston Bruins.
In the afternoon, attendees split up and competed in workshops led by CEO and Vice President of Text100, Aedhmar Hynes and Jason Ouellette and Senior Manager for Digital Marketing at Dunkin’ Brands, Kevin Vine. Competition winners received autographed copies of Amazing Things Will Happen by C.C. Chapman. Because this was the first year hosting a competition in this format, it was a bit nerve-wracking. It went well and with suggestions that conference attendees made, we will keep improving in the future.
Participants used a new Android and iOS mobile app that was created for PR Advanced by an on- campus group called Global App Initiative. This new addition promoted the digital focus of the day and assisted attendees in finding speaker information and session locations. The 148 iOS users and 50 Android users who downloaded the app were also able to give great feedback by using the survey that was included in the app.
The day concluded with a career fair that hosted representatives from seventeen companies. Attendees not only learned and connected throughout the day, but also donated generously to the Greater Boston Food Bank as part of the community service initiative. Faculty Adviser Steve Quigley said, “The BUPRSSA team promised to present a blend of inspiration and information and boy did they deliver on that promise. I learned a ton and couldn’t wait to get out there and put it into practice.”